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Can You Diagnose A Cough By Its Sound?

DiscoveryNews is reporting on a Bedford, Massachusetts company developing software that can detect the difference between a typical cough and one caused by a cold, flu, COPD, or a number of other respiratory diseases. STAR Analytical Services is working with a database of pre-recorded coughs to determine signatures that point to underlying conditions.

The final 100 to 150 milliseconds of the cough contains the distinctive sounds that could help doctors and nurses remotely diagnose a cough as the common cold or more serious pneumonia.

Even with a limited amount of data, scientists can distinguish between a healthy, voluntary cough and the involuntary cough of a sick person. Healthy people have slightly louder coughs, about 2 percent louder than a sick person.

After the initial burst of sound, a cough becomes increasingly complex. The vocal cords vibrate. Mucus in the lungs, throat and nose absorb certain wavelengths while emitting their own noises. Most of this mucousal music emerges from the mouth, but some of it also comes from head, neck and chest.

If a doctor already has a disease diagnosis, the sound of a cough could contain clues about how much fluid has built up in a patient’s lungs.

Before a definitive diagnose of cold or flu over the phone can be achieved, the scientists need more data. So far the scientists have gathered cough records from several dozen sick patients from a local hospital’s emergency department.

Full story @ DiscoveryNews: Cough Into Your Cell Phone, Get Diagnosis…

STAR Analytical Services press release: STAR Analytical Services Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Innovative Global Health Research…

Company homepage: STAR Analytical Services …

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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One Response to “Can You Diagnose A Cough By Its Sound?”

  1. Robert says:

    I think that’s a fantastic concept! Whenever I have the flu, I don’t have the energy to leave the house for a bottle of medicine, so I definitely won’t be able to make it all the way to the doctor’s office for a diagnosis of something I already know: I have the flu! Using a cell phone to diagnose myself would be fantastic and very convenient for me. Also, I’m a big proponent of STAYING HOME when I’m sick so I don’t infect others, and spreading my germs all around a doctor’s office is the last thing I want to do. Great post!

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